A Few Baking Techniques . . .

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If you’re new to gluten free baking, it can be quite a challenge and shock to the system – and over the last couple years I’ve baked quite a few batches of “fish food”. (Chez de Kay has a pond in the back yard, so even if it’s so bad we can’t eat it, there’s always something that will!)

We started out learning the basics by using the recipes of many great gluten free bakers – often in our bread machines.  Over time, while we liked some of those mixes, we decided we wanted to develop our own.

First, if you’ve been accustomed to traditional wheat flour baking, you’ll need to dispel yourself of any preconceived ideas – the gluten free batter for a particular type of bread will generally be completely different than any traditional flour batter you’ve used.

Gluten free batters tend to be considerably stickier – and of course, without gluten, elasticity using most GF flour mixes is practically nil.

If you want a bread that will hold together and not crumble apart, you’ll need to add something to add back in some of that elasticity – xanthan gum, guar gum, gelatin, or eggs work well.  As our family doesn’t have any egg allergy, we prefer to use eggs as much as possible as we know that the gums can cause stomach discomfort for some.

Our Gluten Free Miracle Mix is kind of what got the ball rolling for us and helped us to decide to start this blog; it is the most simple of any of the recipes we’ve recorded.  We’ve not seen this combination anywhere else – so we were kind of excited when it turned out to be pretty versatile.

As we were making our Super Tasty Sliders today, it occurred to me that a post on technique might be in order.

While we now bake our hamburger buns exclusively from home as we like them better than any commercially GF buns we’ve tried, a few tips on handling them hot out of the oven might help.

As you can see in the photo above, we often bake a batch of buns alongside a few mini-muffins.  We have one “tart pan” which makes 6 perfectly sized regular hamburger buns, and one “moon pie” pan (as is pictured above) which makes 12 perfectly sized slider buns.  As there is usually have a little batter left over, the remainder of the batter gets turned into mini-muffins.  If dear daughters and/or hubby are around, those little gems don’t have a chance to cool off before they’re scarfed up and only a memory!

But I digress . . .

The point of this post is to explain that when baking these, you need only drizzle or spray a little oil (coconut, grapeseed or olive) in the non-stick pans.  Once the baking is done, let them cool in the pan for a minute or two.  A silicone spatula is a great help with getting them out of the pan without scarring the nonstick finish, though I haven’t had any trouble with this batter sticking.  Once out of the pans, let them cool thoroughly if using as burger/sandwich buns.  While some might like to use a whole bun as the top and another as bottom, to us that’s just way more density than we like; so once cooled, take a sharp, serrated bread knife, and slice these in half just below the crown top.

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As this was the first time I’d ever made the slider size, I was not sure how they would slice, but found it still worked well.  Key is that the buns must be cool, knife sharp, and you use a gentle sawing motion rather than pressing on them.  Bon Apetit!

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